Difference Between Windows 8 And 8.1

Ever since Microsoft announced that the upcoming update to Windows 8 will be called as Windows 8.1 and will be available for free to all Windows 8 users, many users who aren’t closely following Microsoft, seem to have confused Windows 8.1 as a service pack.

Windows 8.1

For those who’re under the impression that Windows 8.1 update is a service pack, a service pack mainly contains previously released updates and fixes, but doesn’t include new features. So, Windows 8 isn’t a service pack as includes new features.

As some of you may know, when Windows Vista was released back in 2007, it didn’t do well in the market and two years later, Microsoft released a polished version of Vista and named it as Windows 7, which went on to become the highest selling operating system in the history. The only major difference (leaving aside features) between Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 is that Windows 7 wasn’t a free update to Vista users and Windows 8.1 is absolutely free to all Windows 8 users.

As the “.1” in the Windows 8.1 name suggests, Windows 8.1 is based on Windows 8. Windows 8.1 update adds hundreds of new features and functionalities to Windows 8 without removing existing features, and is completely free to all Windows 8 users.

Windows 8.1 update is largely based on the feedbacks that Microsoft received by millions of Windows 8 users over the last year. According to Microsoft, this update will encourage XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users to upgrade to the newest version of Windows.

One can say that Windows 8.1 is what Windows 8 should have been, or we can also say that “.1” completes Windows 8!

Windows 8.1 adds the missing Start button to easily switch to the Start screen, an option to boot directly to desktop by skipping Start screen, settings to customize the Start screen, option to automatically set desktop background as Start screen, an easier way to shutdown and restart PC, and hundreds of other features.

Go through the below chart to know some of the key features present in Windows 8.1 that aren’t part of Windows 8:

Difference Between Windows 8 and 8.1

Good luck!



  1. rene alva says

    I have win 7 premium, win 8, win 10, overall win 7 seems to be the easiest, obviously the next-gen of developers have evolved and trying to keep up with apples and such, basically I like 7, then again I always preferred DOS to windows. push buttons basically for the masses…and swipes, whoop-de-doo….

  2. JJ says

    guys, do yourself a favor……..these days HDD are way cheap,
    buy one
    clone your current PC HDD
    upgrade your PC
    dont like it?
    swap back or clone it back

    and get an SSD it make your pc run much much much faster, one thing you wont regret and wish had from beginning

  3. Pedro Tavares says

    I Got the so called w8.1 “up date” against my willing, and I can’t find a way to restore w8……… W 8.1 in my opinion is even worse to operate than w8……I got all my files disorganized and also hard to find…..my e-mail is a mess ….lost the previous contacts , HARD to utilize BCC properly and easily as on W8 [being W7 much easier than the W8/W8.1] ….anyway it seams, we’re living under this kind of MICRO$$$$$$$OFT TIRANY…..And apparently this is an ongoing problem with the so called ” M/S engineering” [judging by the comments]…..that instead of listening to what the consumer demands, they just force their way into the consumer by imposing their OS onto Computer manufacturers……. Trying to “Imitate” APPLE with “new” tiles…..lol…..but failing miserably……All I can see is getting the “outdated” W7 or LINUX…..or even APPLE’S Mac…….I suppose M/S has long outlived it’s usefulness……

  4. WM says

    I didn’t want 8.1, but now it’s on my laptop. I want windows 8 back. I didn’t want it either but couldn’t get a new laptop without Windows 8. I don’t use the computer much at all, so this Windows 8.1 change has made it where I don’t know where anything is on my laptop! I am starting to hate MS and their recommended auto updates! now after reading the many comments on different sites I am sick of all the control, spying and snooping MS and every other company does to all users!!

  5. The Harvey Wilson says

    Windows 8.1 isnt all that bad, I like it in fact *ducks for cover*. If you ignore the metro screen, it basically is windows 7.

    Where M$ really messed up though was the apps list. There is no structure anymore, just a top level “directory”. If you have many apps that all install shortcuts into the same top directory, you can end up with 10 files like help or readme,txt files that all look the same but can’t identify what is what.

    Also some programs are confused where they are apps or programs. Word 2013 is a perfect example. Works like normal when writing/editing etc but the save and print screens are full screen like an app. Make up your mind Micro$oft.

  6. RC says

    Windows 8 and 8.1 sucks to the nth degree. I regret every second since I bought my computer. Ready to trash this and move on to mac. For the love of God why will somebody do this to Win 7.

  7. C. O. Irby, III says

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I really like Windows 8.1 and was wondering if there is a device driver kit for it as I have a logitech pc camera that is not able to work on a non Vista OS. Thank you for your help in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours Truly,

    C. O. Irby, III

  8. Most Important Differences NOT Listed says

    Microsoft removed the ability to uninstall the all new invasive Search in Windows 8.1.
    The Search could be uninstalled in Windows 8.0

    Microsoft now indexes and keeps track of all files on local drives and mixes them with Internet searches. That is you private files are shared. You cannot limit the scope of the search with indexing and such as before!

    In my main household windows computer all spun-down drives are automatically spun-up several times a day causing needless wear. I don’t want Microsoft or their secret third parties in my private files like tax returns.
    It is remarkable how the press misses these facts.

    Since I keep boot disk images i was able to restore Windows 8.0. Microsoft is very aggressive in trying to install 8.1 as ‘critical updates’. I have to read about each update. On the one i choose not to install MS immediately asks me to take a survey! Further there descriptions have become vaguer and they roll-up as many as possible to hide shit.
    Win 8.1 user MUST upgrade or they can’t even get security updates.
    This are all great reasons to switch to Linux.

  9. Lisa says

    I hate Windows8. I would like to have the games that previous versions had. 8.2 maybe….lol

  10. PJ says

    Personally I do not like windows 8 at all and I am sorry I bought it. Windows 7 is much easier to use and I wish I could go back to it.
    Why should I want windows 8

    P.s Just for your own information, I have had many users tell me they feel the sane way.

  11. Philip M Gerace says

    What About Outlook Was On All My Windows Up Yo 7 Now That My E-Mail Add. Is Well Known I Cant Get My Mail Whats Up With That?

  12. Edju says

    I question:
    I use photo editing apps from 12 years ago that work good, not perfect, but good enough. Would 8.1 put them at risk for further inhibited performance? If so, CAN ONE UNINSTALL THE 8.1 UP DATE, AND GO BACK TO 8? I’m happy with 8 using the Classic Shell app.

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